By Corporal Paul Peterson
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Lance Cpl. Joel T. Murray, an engineer heavy equipment operator with Combat Logistics Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” device in recognition of his “heroic achievement” during the defense of Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazi in the Helmand province.
The distinguished heroism and life-saving actions of a Marine from Hallsville, Texas, earned him the thankful appreciation of his fellow servicemembers during an award ceremony here, July 23.
On May 13, 2013, a suicide bomber attacked the base with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. Murray quickly maneuvered toward the site of the blast. He engaged an insurgent within the compound, neutralized the heavily armed combatant, and continued to move in the direction of the attack.
Shortly after engaging the insurgent, Murray came upon a Georgian soldier with a life-threatening leg injury. He applied a tourniquet and checked the soldier for additional wounds. Murray then provided emergency aid to another wounded soldier and organized stretcher teams for the two casualties.
“It is completely humbling to serve along side you,” said Maj. David H. Mills, company commander of Combat Logistics Company, CLR-2, after presenting Murray with the award. “These are the things that contribute to the legend of the Marine Corps. They are the things people join the Marine Corps to do.”
Murray continued to provide security and medical aid to wounded Marines and Georgian soldiers for more than two hours after the attack.
“I can’t think of anything else I can say but thank you,” said Col. Dwayne A. Whiteside, the commanding officer of CLR-2, as he addressed Murray and his peers. “This is what we do. We get assigned a mission, we take care of each other, and we accomplish the mission. We didn’t leave anyone on the battlefield, and that’s a great thing.”